Comparing a shooter to a scorer is like comparing Beyonce to the character Elaine on Seinfeld. There’s quality and then there’s quantity. Pick your poison.
Wilt Chamberlain was not a shooter, but he certainly could score. Allen Iverson is a career 43 percent shooter who several times shot below 40 percent during his 14 year career in the NBA. But, boy, could he fill it up.
There may not be a regular NBA season in 2011 due to a work stoppage. But, rest assured, there will be a draft in June and teams are actively searching for shooters they hope will be scorers in their quest for the ultimate prize, a championship ring.
Not every low percentage shooter is an NBA bust. And not every high percentage scorer becomes an impact player. When a team considers who the best shooters are, they have to look at the end results. Does the player shoot well only from inside the paint? Or, can they fill it up from anywhere?
This year’s draft has a number of players who can shoot and score. Calling them the best means they get the job done and help their team win. This year’s NCAA Player of the year, Jimmer Fredette, has been shooting and scoring for as long as he’s been able to walk.
Wondering who else will follow him into the draft as a great shooter? Take a look, the results are sure to surprise you.
Marcus Morris is a tremendous NBA prospect with exceptional shooting skills despite a below average wingspan. So, who really cares about wingspan if the ball is going into the hole?
The 6'9" junior forward from Kansas will be a high draft pick in June, probably in the top 10. And one of the reasons is that he can score from a variety of spots on the court -- he'll face the basket and knock down mid range jumpers all day long if he's left open.
Morris hit on 57 percent of his shots this season, the same percentage as his sophomore year. He also found his range from beyond the arc, knocking down a very respectable 34 percent of those attempts. Overall, Morris averaged 17.2 points per game for the Jayhawks.
Although he is ready for the leap now, Morris will continue to improve over the next few years. The latest NBADraft.net has him going at number nine to Charlotte. The hunch here is that he may go even higher.
It's the upside potential that has everyone so excited about this young sophomore guard from Colorado.
Alec Burks is still learning the game -- watch out when he finally figures it all out. At 6'6", Burks is an explosive type of player with an outstanding shooting stroke that will only get better with time.
Burks still takes some ill advised long range shots and he only hit on 29 percent of his attempts from three point range. But, he is an excellent shooter and overall averaged 20.5 points on 47 percent from the field.
Because of his speed and athleticism, Burks scores a lot of his points on drives to the hoop. Yet, he is developing a very nice outside game and that will improve at the next level on the team that is fortunate enough to draft him.
The 6'5", 190 pound Marshon Brooks is an above average shooter and tremendous scorer who gets points in bunches. He averaged close to 25 per game this past season for Providence and is rated high on most mock draft lists.
Brooks plays a lot (36.5 minutes) and scores a lot. He poured in 52 points in a one point loss to Notre Dame this year, hitting on 20-28 shots, including six of 10 from beyond the arc. That's good shooting.
Brooks also had games of 43 against Georgetown (17-28 from the field), 33 against Brown (14-21), and 20 against St. John's on a very efficient eight of 14 from the field.
The draft experts see Brooks as a very late first to early second round pick, some of that due to the feeling that he shoots too much and takes ill advised long shots too often. Still, this is a great athlete with the ability to create good looks with and without the ball.
Brooks will need to mature and learn the team game on the next level -- all within the realm of possibility.
The 6'3" senior guard shoots almost as well from three point range (44 percent) as he does from closer in (48 percent). He's that good of a shooter with an excellent feel for the ball and the hoop. He also makes good on 82 percent of his free throws, remarkable numbers at the college level.
Hansbrough 's shooting tailed off at the end of the season; in his last three games for the Fighting Irish, he went 12-40. Still, he's shown over the years that he knows how to shoot and he will have the opportunity to showcase his long range talents in the NBA as good three point shooters are at a premium.
Current projections have Hansbrough as a fringe pick, so he may have to try out as a free agent. His inconsistent play towards the end of this season may have hurt his stock.
But as a pure shooter, Hansbrough is worth a long look. He averaged 18.4 points in 35 minutes for Notre Dame this year. He has the ability to create instant offense at the next level.
The 6'4" senior guard has all the shooting ability in the world and some team will gamble that this pick will stick and make an impact in a year or two.
E'Twaun Moore averaged 40 percent on his three point shots this year for Purdue, 45 percent overall. He seemed to shine in some big games, going 13-18 from the floor and seven of 10 from three point range in a 38 point performance against Ohio State on February 20.
DraftExpress.com picks Moore to go at number 10 in the second round of the draft. He's one of those sleeper picks, but as this site proclaims: "Purdue's E'Twaun Moore has quietly put together one of the better four-year careers of any senior in college basketball this season. The Boilermaker's shooting guard has continued to show gradual improvement in all facets of his game, and while he's not the type of player who will likely wow many NBA scouts with his physical tools or upside, he's been far too productive to ignore."
He only played in 11 games this season due to injury but that was enough to convince the scouts that Kyrie Irving was a pure shooter who is ready for the NBA.
He made the most of his appearances, averaging 17.5 points on 53 percent shooting from the floor. Irving also connected on 46 percent of his three point attempts.
Collegehoopsvideo.com says of the 6'2", 180 pound freshman from West Orange, New Jersey: "Kyrie Irving has been as good as the hype when he has been healthy at Duke. He unexpectedly came back early from injury that had him sitting out two-thirds of the 2010-11 college basketball season, and hasn’t really missed a beat."
Early in the year and right before his injury, Irving made 14 of 22 shots and scored 52 points in two impressive wins over Michigan State and Butler. He was 14-27 in the three games he played after returning to the courts and scored 28 points (9-15) in Duke's loss to Arizona in the NCAA title game.
Jordan Hamilton knows what to do with the ball once he has it. At 6'7" and 226 pounds, the Los Angeles native can play equally well as a shooting guard or small forward.
Writes NBADraft.net: "He is a confident shooter and once he gets into a rhythm he can make them in a flurry".
Hamilton averaged 18.6 points in 32 minutes for the Longhorns this season. He made close to 39 percent of his long distance shots and 44 percent overall.
Just a sophomore, Hamilton has decided to enter the draft. He can use his strength to muscle in for shots or can step back and hit the jumper with consistency.
Hamilton had 15 games in which he scored 20 points or more. He'll be one of the top picks in the June draft
He's a scorer first and a shooter second. Kemba Walker, considered by many to be the top player of this recently completed season, has the ability to shoot, score, defend and win.
Walker averaged 23. points for the Huskies this year on 43 percent shooting. He also connected on a respectable 33 percent from three point range, a statistic that will improve at the next level.
Walker's shot continues to get better. NBADraft.net writes: "His shot isn't fully there yet, however it improved dramatically from his freshman year to his sophomore year ... He's become a better spot up shooter, and his pull-up jumper off the dribble is what will propel him to become and effective guard at the next level."
Walker is tremendous at penetrating and drawing the foul. He got the job done in the NCAA tournament, taking his UConn Huskies all the way to the championship while scoring big when it mattered most.
Walker had 89 total points in wins over Cincinnati, San Diego State and Arizona. He added 18 and 16 in the semifinal win over Kentucky and championship game against Butler.
The skeptics need to stop and just let him enjoy the moment.
Jimmer Fredette can do it all when it comes to shooting.
Fredette led the nation in scoring (28.9 per game) and his three point skills have improved every season. He hit 40 pecent from three point range and 45 percent overall.
Fredette should go high in the draft because he'll score a lot of points for most any team he plays for. He's become a great shooter because he understands the game, knows about spacing and how to get open for shots at any distance.
There may not be another player in the country who is a better shooter than Derrick Williams of Arizona. That's saying a lot, considering all the competition and the fact he just completed his sophomore season.
His improvement has been dramatic, especially from the outside. The 6'8" forward hit on 60 percent of his field goal attempts this year on his way to scoring almost 20 points per game for the Wildcats.
Williams did not take a lot of three point shots, but he took enough to say that his 57 percent accuracy from beyond the arc was beyond the realm of reality. It was downright scary.
It's one of the reasons why this shooting, play making prodigy may be the number one pick in the draft. He's an excellent shooter who seems well on his way to becoming a great one.